Single Review: Tamar Braxton, ‘If I Don’t Have You’

tamar-iidhyTamar Braxton is ready to release another album and for those who have ever questioned her vocal ability, she slays with a her new single, ‘If I Don’t Have You.’ I first heard her singing this in a video on Instagram. I thought she was just singing a song that’s been released already, yet I couldn’t pin point what it was. Well it was her new single that, if nothing else, showcases Tamar’s vocal ability tremendously.

Overall I think that ballads are her lane, but she’s singing about the same thing over and over. Love and War’ (click HERE for review) was about fighting to stay together. ‘The One’ was about not wanting anybody else. Her last single with Future, ‘Let Me Know’ (click HERE for that review), had a similar concept. You love and then you want to leave, yet you end up working things out. I get that this is what couples go through. I get it! I’m just ready to hear her singing about something else. No, I’m not talking “pop it” music like on her previous album, but something different. Lyrically, I’m bored.

Musically the drums in the beginning remind me of Love & War. In a way, the tracks are very similar and if this is a way to get her back to the forefront aside from her TV slots then so be it.I would love to hear a track with her and Toni on her new album and then another with all her sisters; both I prefer to be ballads. I’d love to hear her do a duet with a guy. Her feature on Robin Thicke’s ‘4 The Rest of My Life,’ was real nice (listen HERE for that).

Aside from gearing up for her new album you can catch her co-hosting on The Real as well as the new season of Braxton Family Values. Both shows I need to catch up on. Cheers for more Tamar music.

Check out the track below:

Single Review: Ciara, ‘Dance Like We’re Making Love’

ciara-singaporeCiara is back with a new single titled ‘Dance Like We’re Making Love’ off her forthcoming sixth studio album, Jackie. Based off the first single, ‘I Bet,’ I expect a few more heart wrenching tracks after her public breakup with ex-fiance and baby father, Future. As for a follow-up single to that track this one is nothing but good vibes.

There’s nothing better than a feel good track and this is definitely one. I love the music and the lyrics are sleek and sexy, but not too much. It’s great to twist and work words to have a particular meaning, but not be vulgar. This song does that. She sings about dancing with her partner and hint here and hint there, but nothing explicit. It’s way more toned down than ‘Body Party.’

Vocally she sounds great as she’s not straining to reach any high notes. There’s been times when she’s sang certain notes and it was a raspy high pitch, but the alto sound works well for her. I really love how she sounds on this track and the hook is amazing. A hook is what makes the song catchy and is likely what you’ll likely remember as a listener. For me I can’t get the hook out of my head. It’s simple, but the way she sings it and stretches out the word “love” adds to the catchiness of it.

The music was not overpowering and again I can’t stress how good of a vibe it was. This is definitely a track that’s on my current rotation and a sure favorite. There’s not many current songs that I can listen to on rotation, but this one is amazing. The video for this is what I’m looking most forward to. She could do the story line vibe or keep the simple silhouette and dance around. Either way, I’m excited to see it. Kudos to Ciara on this one. I hope it makes its way to the airwaves sooner rather than later.

I’m looking forward to Ciara’s upcoming album as opposed to her last self-titled effort. The problem with that album was that ‘Body Party’ had put such high standards on the project along with her public relationship to Future that anything released after that didn’t match that buzz. Her relationship really overshadowed her album, but her she is with another buzz worthy single, a breakup that can lead to great music, and a beautiful baby boy. Her album drops this Monday (5/4) so I can’t wait to hear what’s next.

Listen to the track below:

NEW MUSIC: Hits & Misses

It’s a lot of new music out right now and i didn’t want to wait to blog about what’s new, so let’s get right to it. I picked out a few tracks to give my take on whether it’s a hit or miss.

Sevyn-Streeter-4th-Street-2015-1200x1200Sevyn Streeter has dropped a new track titled ‘4th Street’ off her upcoming debut album, I don’t plan to hear this on the radio, but it’s great for her to express her love for the people that made her who she is. There’s circumstances/situations in life that make you who you are, but no matter how famous or rich you get, you never forget where you’re from. Great concept for a track. The video didn’t need to be lavish, but great that she included people from her city. Not quite a hit for me, but I like the vibe. Her album, On The Verge, is coming soon. No official release date just yet. Check out the video below:

Mariah-Carey-Infinity-2015-1200x1200Next up is new music from Ms. Mariah Carey. As for her last album, Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse. I had no reason to listen to it and as for what’s coming, I don’t really care to listen to that either. I will say that I wonder is Ms. Cannon-Carey is talking about her estranged husband. She doesn’t sound horrible, vocally, and the lyrics aren’t bad, but I would’ve liked different music. The music reminds me a lot of Ja Rule and Ashanti’s, ‘Mesmerize.’ This could’ve been a ballad ballad with a slower beat. As for her singing something like this live, eh. Who knows. I wouldn’t say that it’s a hit, but I like it. Listen to the track below:

Ne-Yo-Non-Fiction-2015-1200x1200I heard this track on the radio this morning and the more I hear Ne-Yo, the more I dislike his music. I guess since the track was on the radio it’s a possible hit, but I’m still not feeling the direction of his music. I’m surprised that his latest track with Pitbull, ‘Time of My Life,’ gets as much play as it does, but it does. That’s a song that had to grow on me. As for his new track, ‘Coming With You,’ maybe it will grow on me, but from first listen I’m not feeling it. The beat is similar to that of Rob Base’It Takes Two.’ The last compilation that I listened to of Ne-Yo’s was Because of You. To me that is still a classic. Now I think he’s just putting music out to stay afloat. For as talented as he is, it’s like a waste of the talent. His latest album, Nonfiction, is available. Check out the video below:

do-me-like-thatI am impatiently waiting for Monica’s return and she’s making her way back with the short cut, red at that, and is on a new track. She’s featured on Atlanta DJs, Trendsetter Sense, track ‘Do Me Like That alongside Yo Gotti and Jeezy. This track probably bumps hard in Atlanta, but I love Monica’s vibe as an artist. Her voice is just so on point, all the TIME, studio and live, and I just can’t wait to hear new music from her. This is a HIT for me simply because I love Monica. The beat is the only thing that’s mediocre to me. I get the point of the song, but I really want to hear Monica by herself. Listen to the track below:

NEW MUSIC: Sia, ‘Big Girls Cry’

maggie-ziedler-sia-big-girls-cry-video-officialSia has released yet another video for featuring Maddie Ziegler, this time for ‘Big Girl Cry.’ 1000 Forms of Fear is Sia’s biggest U.S. takeover and I’m excited for her new album. Sia and Maddie first teamed up with the Summer Smash, ‘Chandelier,’ ‘Elastic Heart,’ and now ‘Big Girls Cry.’ They’ve also taken over with their innovative performances on Ellen, Dancing With the Stars, Jimmy Kimmel, SNL, and at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

This time around Maddie still has on the signature nude leotard and blonde wig, but she’s sitting which is different from the previous two videos. She’s stated in an interview with Entertainment Weekly (January 2015) that this type of dance is different than what she’s used to:

I didn’t even know what to say. It was such a big change for me, because I’m not used to doing that style in normal dance competitions. It was definitely very different for me, but I love being able to do that kind of style.

I don’t know! It’s like, quirky, contemporary-ish. It’s pretty much all different things put together, because some parts are really soft, some parts are quirky, and then there’s the huge dance break. It’s all different.

At 12 years old she’s living a dream. She has a bright future ahead of her and it’s great that she’s able to get out of her comfort zone now and taste the fame. Hopefully more artists will call her on for some choreography. ‘Chandelier’ is definitely one of the greatest videos of all time. She’ll always have that as a reminder of how talented she is.

Sia and Maddie have had quite the run. Check out their latest collab below:

Tidal Launch

30-tidal-1.nocrop.w529.h373.2xThere’s a new music subscription for the public to access, but this time its backed by the stars. Jay-Z announced that he would be relaunching Tidal. Now there’s Spotify which is $9.99/month. Then there’s Beats Music  that’s $9.99/month and allows access for up to three devices. Now when I heard of Tidal I was thinking, great another music subscription. When I saw the price I knew that I wouldn’t want to sign up. $19.99 for a music subscription? What makes it so special? What am I getting in addition to the cheaper alternatives already available? 30-tidal-2.nocrop.w529.h373.2xThis star-studded announcement that included the likes of: Jay-Z & Beyonce (of course), Kanye West, Usher, J. Cole, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, and more. I paid this no mind until Beyoncé released a new single via the site titled,’Die For You .’ How appropriate as it is the 7th wedding anniversary of her and Jay-Z. Click HERE to listen to the track.

When going on to the site you reach a screen that states what Tidal is:

Introducing the first music streaming service that combines the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and expertly Curated Editorial.

Again, that doesn’t really define much of what I’d possibly be paying $19.99/month for. You could “listen now” or enter a voucher which I’m curious to know what that is. Now when going to start a free trial there are two options, Tidal Premium ($9.99/month) and Tidal HiFi ($19.99/month). From the looks of it the only difference between the two seems to be the quality of sound. When asked (in an interview with NYU) if Tidal was competing with Spotify, Jay-Z commented:

I know everyone thinks “new company, main business competitor is Spotify” but we’re really not here to compete with anyone. We’re actually here to improve the landscape. If just the presence of TIDAL causes other companies to have better pay structure, or to pay more attention to it moving forward, then we’ve been successful in one way. So we don’t really view them as competitors. As the tide rises, all the boats rise.”

When asked who’d be McDonald’s or ShakeShack he responded:

“We’re cool with, you know, they [other streaming services] can be McDonald’s, we’ll be Shake Shack. We don’t have to be number one, we just want to be very specific and very great at what we do. We want to do a very specific thing, we want people to come to TIDAL for a specific sound, a specific experience, and to know that there are going to be the greatest new artists in the world, the biggest artists, introducing the newest artists, collaborations and things you’ve never seen before. That’s what we’re going to do. After that, the world decides. The universe decides.”

As for my thoughts on this whole Tidal movement, I’m not sold on this. I see this as just another music subscription service except with a punch. The punch is that the artists are behind it and paying subscribers can have access to exclusives such as the one released by Beyoncé. Also available on the site right now are exclusives from. I’m interested in seeing where this goes. This does go hand in hand with that of the Grammy Creators Alliance which wants artists to get the respect they deserve. Whether people subscribe or not, artists have joined together for their music to be respected.

NEW MUSIC: Beyoncé x Chris Brown, ‘Jealous (Remix)’

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A new remix has surfaced from Beyoncé, this time she’s teaming up with Chris Brown. They’ve remixed ‘Jealous’ and it’s not one of my favorites from her self-titled album. Interestingly enough Chris says the track was supposed to be featured on the re-release, but didn’t make the cut. The remixes to ‘Flawless,’ ‘Blow,’ and ‘Drunk In Love’ did. The remix doesn’t really do anything for me. Sometime a remix can make you fall in love with a song or fall even more in love if you weren’t already. Maybe that’s why it didn’t make the cut, but fans get to her Breezy and Queen Bey on a track, right?

Anyway, take a listen to the track below:

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill to be Inducted into Library of Congresss

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Lauryn Hill released her debut solo album,The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, on August 25, 1998. Here it is 17 years later and her 5 time Grammy winning album is being inducted into the Library of Congress. I didn’t known that albums were inducted, but here is the criteria:

culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and be at least 10 years old.

A press release of the announcement stated:

Lauryn Hill’s debut solo record, following the breakup of the Fugees, is a work of honesty in which Hill explores her feelings on topics that included the deep wonder of pregnancy, the pitfalls of modern relationships and the experience of the sacred. The album effortlessly fuses soul, rhythm and blues, rap and reggae. Hill’s vocal range, smooth clear highs and vibrato are stunning. The rapping is rhythmically compelling while always retaining, and frequently exploiting, the natural cadences of conversational speech. Standout guest performances include Carlos Santana’s soulful acoustic guitar solo on “Zion,” and duets with Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo on “I Used to Love Him” and “Nothing Even Matters,” respectively.”

Congrats to Ms. Hill on such an honor.